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MIKCo Sale and paddle


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Seven went out, eight came back... one should have stayed home.

On Saturday morning 6 NSPN'ers and one friend set off (on time even ;) from Eastern Prom for the paddle over to MIKCo. The morning was gray, with a light chop on the bay as we headed out. A head wind slowed us down, but we still managed to make it to Peaks at about the same time as the ferry (ok, the ferry beat us, but since we landed right on the beach we still got first pick of the items on sale ;).

Tom Berg was on the beach to greet us and true to his word, fresh coffee and bagels awaited in the boat house. A brisk morning paddle, caffeine and gear for sale. What more could you ask for?

We spent a pleasant few hours chatting and shopping. Boats, pfds, tow belts, paddles, pumps... And that's just the stuff Ciro and I bought. No one went away empty handed. (Except for poor Suz, who's still waiting for her new sprayskirt.)

As we shopped Rick arrived. Happily he joined us for the rest of the day. As conditions worsened having one more experienced paddler in the group was an asset.

After shopping our hearts out we headed off for lunch on Cow Island (the new boats, four of them if I count correctly, would have to take the ferry back, as towing in the building winds didn't seem like a good plan). Heading along Peaks we got a free ride with our backs to the wind and made city point in record time, then turned into the lee where it was finally quiet enough for the group to actually hold conversations without shouting.

When we reached Pumpkin knob, we had to reign in Sir Godfrey and my dear husband so they wouldn't head the wrong way out the Hussey "but it looks like more fun out there!" As we crossed Diamond Passage the waves built a bit and that was more than enough fun for me. Rick gave me some tips on handling a following sea.

From behind me folks yelled that we should pull into Diamond Cove rather than continue on to Cow. The rain was moving in and the winds were still building, so an early lunch and retreat back to Portland was in order. Lunch was pleasant, despite the rain. Suz provided hot soup and homemade bread for everyone... she's a woman who knows the way to a paddler's heart ;-).

Then we were off around the lee side of Great Diamond, but it didn't stay protected for long. The rain started coming down hard and the winds whipped up. The paddle home became a slog with beam seas, poor visability and sustained winds in the 20+ kt range. Fortunately, the water and the air stayed mercifully warm and the group was mostly cheery (if you discount my occasionally white knuckles). For me nothing fights off a bout of nerves like hearing Christopher's distinctive "Wheeee!" from behind whenever there's a particularly strong gust of wind.

Come to think of it, a couple of those gusts did make me wish I'd bought that paddle leash I looked at... Guess I'll just have to go back and shop some more :)

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